MI Thrive Reintroduces Package of Bills to Revitalize Communities

“This legislation opens the door to other projects that can truly transform our cities,” says JoAnn Crary, President of Saginaw Future.

Revitalizing communities across the state.

It’s the aim of a set of bills reintroduced in the state senate.

Michigan Thrive says the package of bills would transform Brownfield properties.

Those are abandoned buildings or lots that may be polluted, and expensive for developers to purchase.

9 and 10’s Megan Atwood and photojournalist John Harrington have more details on how these bills would give developers a reason to give the sites new life across the state.

“There is a site in just about every town in Northern Michigan that needs to be redeveloped,” says Russ Knopp, chair of the government relations committee in Traverse City.

Michigan thrive says there’s a simple way to transform abandoned properties, allowing projects to keep a portion of the new tax revenue they generate. It’s one reason Senator Kenneth Horn is behind this.

“We have Brownfields across the state. This isn’t revolving around one city. We have holes that need to be filled. We have buildings that are crumbling that need to be repaired. We have Brownfields that need to be remediated,” says Senator Kenneth Horn.

It’s a tax increment financing or TIF that would be added to the current Brownfield Act.

“If this legislation goes through, it will provide some support so that developers can redevelop some of those properties that are sitting vacant,” Knopp goes on to say.

And it’s something the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce is supportive of.

“We do need tools in small cities and rural communities to develop grow and thrive especially for those very challenging properties that even we have. We believe strongly that this legislation is one of those tools to help us move forward,” says Kent Wood with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.